Who We Are
   
 

Written by Alexander and Danylo Fedoryka for their 25 nephews and nieces, Cake for Dinner is a sonic trip around the globe. Kids will expand their world while listening to music ranging from Irish to Ukrainian to Americana to gypsy and more. They'll learn sing-a-long campfire songs and rounds, a sea shanty, and even a song that will help them clean their room! Find out more. . .

Alexander Fedoryka (Fiddle, Vocals, Mandolin, Banjo) - Alexander Fedoryka was born during a snow blizzard and some say he saved himself and his entire family from freezing that day by keeping the house warm sawing away at the fiddle. Since then he's wrastled a bear, kissed a mountain lion and traveled the world using his fiddle to make friends. While in Ireland he joined the Circus and became a street performer where he made a living for three months telling stories with his fiddle.

He loves to eat popcorn and read books. He also likes to sneak cookies when his ma and pa aren't looking. He used to be a bad boy, but after a few wrong turns he ended up in "Spanky Town" and since then he's been running the "straight and narrow" traveling around the country playing for kids. He also has another band called Scythian which plays mostly after bedtime.


Danylo Fedoryka (Guitar, Vocals, Accordion) - Danylo grew up in a house kept warm by his brother Alexander's fiddling and bought his first guitar when he was seven years old. He raised the money for this guitar herding scorpions and selling them to the "scorpion rodeo" owned by the medicine man at the corner grocery.

He learned to play the accordion while exploring the Amazon jungle in search of the famed "Gypsy Moon" diamond. His old Italian guide taught him how to play and told Danylo that the accordion will one day save his life . . .

When he's not hopping around on stage, Danylo likes to count the stars, make up limericks and eat ice-cream sandwiches (one in each hand!).


Larissa Fedoryka (Cello, vocals, bodhran) - Larissa Fedoryka grew up on a bunny farm. Her job was to chase the bunnies every day and feed them lollipops so they would grow up sweeter. She got her cello from "Old Man Sutter" the carpenter who loved bunnies and she's been making sweet music ever since.

She once played a lullaby for King of Siam, shared a bunk with a sea-sick cat and lost a game of tic-tac-toe (twice). Her friends call her "Daisy" and people say that if you ask her any question - she'll know the answer!

Larissa loves chocolate and if you give her a morsel she'll play you Twinkle Little Star backwards. Larissa also tours with Alexander and Danylo in their other band - Scythian.

Melanie Fedoryka (Fiddle, Vocals, Mandolin) - In some countries she's known as "Melanie the Magificent" but in the Fedoryka house she is known as "kid-sister". Determined to make a name for herself, Melanie sailed around the world in a wheelbarrow and learned to speak Latin and Greek. In a port in South Australia she met a fiddling cat who taught her how to fiddle while sailing to Easter Island. There Melanie searched for jelly-beans, but not a single Easter egg was to be found. Instead she had to content herself with learning all about "noses" . . . BIG ones.

Melanie likes tiny things - like tiny turtles, bunnies, kitties and ninjas and she owns a steam-engine train called the Orange Blossom which has a 100-foot slip & slide and serves the world's best banana-split. When she's not playing with Cake for Dinner, Melanie has her own band called Trolley Stop.

Bandit the Bunny - The Fedorykas grew up playing with bandit. One of their favorite things to do was to tie pennies to balloons and watch them sparkle and shine as they shot up into the sky.

Though his name is Bandit, Bandit has never told a lie and is one of the politest bunnies you'll ever meet. His one weakness is CARROTS!! Bandit often makes trips to "Spanky Town" to chomp on the carrots in Jeremiah Picklebottom's garden. Jeremiah's wife Rosie is the one who gave him the name "Bandit".

Jeremiah Picklebottom and his wife Rosie
Jeremiah Picklebottom is the Sheriff of Spanky Town. Kids from all around are scared of him, but beneath that beard he really has a kind face and is just doing his job, and that's to make sure kids aren't misbehavin'! He hopes that kids will see that even though they want things their way, they should listen to their parents who love them and want what's best for them. His wife Rosie, on the other hand is the meanest old woman you'll ever meet. People say she has no teeth at all, but no one ever can find out 'cause she never smiles. She wants to make a stew out of Bandit for stealing her carrots. Just do your best never to go to Spanky Town!


Special Guests: The Cuddebrats! - The Fedoryka Gang grew up playing music and they're lucky enough to have five of their musical nephew/nieces living right down the road. They are the children singing on the Album.

To their friends they're known as the Cuddebacks, but to the world at large they're known as that infamous band of horse-thieves and singers - THE CUDDEBRATS! They eat a steady diet of Cake for Dinner but floss every night to make up for it. In the summertime you can find them swimming, swinging on vines and making honey from their bee-hives.


Cake for Dinner Backgrounder

Cake for Dinner is an interactive, educational musical project for children, led by siblings Alexander and Danylo Fedoryka, and joined in support by sisters Larissa and Melanie Fedoryka. The Fedorykas were raised in a musical family of 10 children by their mother Irene (a Julliard graduate), and their father Damian (a philosophy professor). As children, they toured extensively as The Fedoryka Family Players, with notable appearances at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and The International Childrens Festival at Wolftrap. Raised from an early age in the Shenandoah Valley as classical performers in a bilingual household, the Fedorykas found themselves at a constant crossroads of exposure to several genres of music, from Ukrainian to classical to Americana and more. This in turn set the stage for brothers Alexander and Danylo to branch out further into the multiform world of ethnic music when they formed the successful band, Scythian, in 2002, with which they currently tour.

Pedagogically, the Fedoryka siblings all come from the school of the renowned Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, whose famous Talent Education Method has opened the gift of music to millions of children worldwide. Music was a part of their daily household sounds from infancy, and at age 3, they were given their respective instruments. At the age of 15, Alexander went on to study in Japan at the Suzuki Institute of Music under the close daily tutelage of Dr. Suzuki himself. Later, all four siblings went on to teach the Suzuki Method to children and have experienced first-hand the wonderful effects of music upon a child's formation. They share Dr. Suzuki's conviction that music has the unique capacity to form the whole person, and that formation is most effective from a young age.

Bearing this in mind, the album Cake for Dinner seeks to bring this stimulation to children in an accessible way. The intention of the children's album is not towards instructional lyrical content per se, but rather towards musical education in general, with strong emphasis on the basic building blocks of music, i.e. melody, harmony, and rhythm. These are delivered through both lyrical and instrumental songs. Within this basic framework, the children will be introduced to a variety of musical expressions, with a sampling of folk music from many genres of the world, such as Italian, Ukrainian, Bluegrass, Irish, French-Canadian, Argentine, and more. They will hear the the different sounds of a waltz, a polka, a tango, a jig, and the blues, as well as campfire songs and rounds. Think of it as a musical carpet ride around the world, where the various melodies serve as the vehicle of transportation. At the same time, a variety of instruments are inter-meshed throughout, introducing children to different instrumental tones, such as violin, guitar, accordion, cello, mandolin, banjo, harmonica, whistle and many percussive instruments. All the while, there is an effort to encourage active participation among the young listeners with the introduction of some of the Fedorykas' 25 nephews and nieces, who sing on several tracks. With the sound of children's voices singing, the child listener will identify with them and be encouraged to actively participate in the music, rather than think of music in a passive way.

In the end, the goal of Cake for Dinner is to introduce the child to many different genres of folk music in an interactive manner. In so doing, the goal is to stimulate and expand the child's impressionable audio palate and encourage them towards a more active approach to the wide world of music.